By Trevor Morelli
Secret City Records
Give yourself time to truly understand Shad’s sixth album, A Short Story About A War. It’s a dense record that mixes eclectic jazz bass lines with distorted guitars, thumping beats, and of course, politically charged lyrics.
Like many artists in these unstable political times, Shad has a lot on his mind and his commentaries tackle everything from income disparity to immigration to the robotic nature of work. It’s Rage Against the Machine through a hip-hop lens.
Shad’s flow is better than it’s ever been, playing with humor while maintaining a serious tone. On “The Foot Pt. 1 (Get It Got It Good),” the album’s standout track, he evokes the spirit of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” with lines about a weapons manufacturer who ignores his morals in order to provide for his family. It’s a bit too real to be funny.
The list of guest pals on the album is also impressive. Lido Pimienta contributes her soulful voice to “Magic,” Kaytranada creates woozy, shifting soundscapes on “The Fool Pt. 3 (Frame of Mind),” and Yukon Blonde show up for the bouncy album closer, “All I Need.”
A Short Story About a War is a jarring album containing multiple messages that will make you think, the kind of record that should elevate Shad to another level at this point in his career. Perhaps he sums it up best near the end of the album on “Another Year,” stating: “The moral of the story is the war continues within us, every day.”A Short Story About A War, Record Review, Secret City Records, Shad